NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, May 31st | Mike Conley

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·6 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, May 31st | Mike Conley
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Mike Conley | 5/31/21
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Monday, May 31st brings the Philadelphia 76ers poised to sweep the Wizards and the Jazz as 5-point road favorites taking on the Grizzlies in Memphis. Let’s look at the two-game main slate and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS today for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE NBA Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Monday, May 31st

Yahoo Play of the Day — Mike Conley: Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.66 | DraftKings: 34.18

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 37.4% | FanDuel 25.0% | DraftKings 32.2%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $8,100 | DraftKings $7,000

This has been a phenomenal series so far for Mike Conley, who is averaging 35.3 minutes and 16.7 field-goal attempts, including 8.7 from beyond the arc. All told, this works out to 23 points, 5.3 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 4.3 made 3-pointers per game. The one wrinkle is the return of Donovan Mitchell, who has played 25.6 and 29.8 minutes, which should have him trending towards 32 to 34 tonight. Coach Quin Snyder has done a good job staggering the minutes of his backcourt, with Conley on the floor for every minute that Mitchell is on the bench.

NBA WOWY shows that this year Conley has averaged 1.11 Yahoo fantasy points per minute, including the postseason. When he shares the court with Mitchell, he drops to 1.03 fantasy points per minute, and without him he gets a boost to 1.17 fantasy points per minute. It is good to see that there is not much variation, which should help assuage fears that Conley is going to be dramatically impacted with Mitchell’s increased run.

Ben Simmons: Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.74 | DraftKings: 40.02

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 34.8% | FanDuel 33.6% | DraftKings 31.2%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $7,900

Tonight there are only four teams in the player pool, and discount dandies are few and far between with the shorter playoff rotations. This means gamers will need to look for value on a point-per-dollar basis and target players who have the ability to far exceed their median projections. Ben Simmons falls squarely in that category, as his salary is not going to break the bank and he posted 50-plus fantasy points in the first two games of this series.

The matchup against the Wizards is a favorable one for him, as their up-tempo style of play leads to a lot of fast breaks and turnover potential. Additionally, Alex Len, Robin Lopez and Daniel Gafford are not exactly the most stalwart rim protectors. Simmons contributes across the board, and in this series he is averaging 32.3 minutes, 14 points, 9.7 rebounds, 10.7 assists and two combined blocks/steals. This is going to be a wild one, as the Wizards are facing elimination and will be playing at a frenetic pace in the hopes of outscoring Philadelphia. That plays right into the strengths of Simmons, who is in line to be a core NBA DFS pick tonight.

Good Value

Daniel Gafford: Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 20.88 | DraftKings: 19.44

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.2% | FanDuel 26.8% | DraftKings 18.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $15 | FanDuel $5,400 | DraftKings $4,300

Len has had decreasing minutes each game in this series. He is starting the game and the second half, but he is still only seeing around 11 minutes of action. Gafford is the first center off the bench and also the most likely to close the game out as the more versatile option of this trio. Lopez is the third option, and he basically is getting the second quarter and second half minutes that do not go to Gafford. Yahoo and DraftKings allow multiple centers, and Gafford is a power forward on FanDuel, which adds to his appeal. He is a high-energy player who is best employed in bursts, but he is also the Wizards’ best option to play down the stretch as they try to avoid elimination. Gafford’s floor is around 20 fantasy points, and he has another 7 to 10 points of attainable upside.

Risky Value

Russell Westbrook: Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 52.62 | DraftKings: 56.14

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.8% | FanDuel 55.0% | DraftKings 42.2%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,000 | DraftKings $11,000

No, Russell Westbrook is not a bad play, but his current fantasy salary makes his value almost unreachable. The last 48 hours should help him be closer to full health after spraining his ankle in Game 2. With the other stars getting additional minutes in the playoffs, Westbrook does not have the same advantage he did during the regular season. Joel Embiid also does a good job protecting the rim, which makes it harder for Westbrook to get easy buckets, and it is forcing him to pass and rely more on his sketchy jump shot. Through the three games of this series, Westbrook is averaging 35.3 minutes and 15 field-goal attempts. This is four fewer field-goal attempts than he averaged in the regular season, and the rebounding is a lot tougher against Philadelphia with Embiid, Simmons and Tobias Harris all in the mix. A reasonable baseline for Westbrook tonight will be his series averages of 17.3 points, 11.7 assists and 7.7 rebounds. Even if he has a great game and approaches 60 fantasy points, will that be enough to pay off his salary? Westbrook is more of a secondary or tertiary option tonight and best left for game stacks.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Dwight Howard: PHI at WAS – $10

  2. Grayson Allen: MEM vs. UTA – $10

  3. Matisse Thybulle: PHI at WAS – $11

Final Thoughts on the Monday, May 31st NBA DFS Slate

Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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